Whether on land or on water, it’s all about location, location, location. No matter how spectacular a marina is, if it takes you too far off course, or is just a hassle to navigate to, you’re not going to add it to your cruise itinerary. When you’re on your boat, you want life to be easy, enjoyable, and worry-free. We get it!
Of course, accessibility is not the only thing to look for when choosing marinas for a trip. A great boater-friendly location with plenty to do and see both on and off the boat, is just as important. We’re here to help with our list of marinas that do all this and more. Here are some of our top picks for Florida’s easily accessible hidden gems.
Great stops and easy access marinas on Florida’s AICW
Fernandina Beach and Amelia Island
One of the northernmost points of Florida’s Atlantic coast is Fernandina Beach and its neighbor Amelia Island – just a stone’s throw south of the Georgia border. Not only are the waters ideal for boating, fishing and watersports of every kind, but these two delightful towns have more than their fair share of historical, cultural, and natural attractions; in other words, keeping the fun and enjoyment going will not be a problem. Fernandina Beach offers everything from a historic Main Street with shops, restaurants, fairs and festivals, to Fort Clinch State Park for some time with nature. Amelia Island won’t be outdone with its own lively historic district and Amelia Island State Park.
Right in the heart of it all isOasis Marinas at Fernandina Harbor in Fernandina Beach. This premier location for boaters traveling the Intracoastal Waterway and beyond is known for its impressive list of amenities, knowledgeable and helpful staff, convenient fuel dock, on-site restaurant, and boater’s lounge. If you’re looking for fun off the boat, Fernandina Harbor’s watersport partner is right there to further create one memorable experience. If you’re looking to venture outside the marina, there are plenty of restaurants, bars, shops, and boutiques close by. It’s the perfect stop on your trek northbound or southbound.
Less than 100 miles south, you’ll arrive at Palm Coast. Boater’s rave about the weather, the sand, the beaches, the food, and so much more at this popular destination. Home to the renowned Hammock Beach Golf Resort & Spa with world-class golf and pampering spa treatments, this beautiful paradise is filled with water and land adventures at every turn.
Palm Coast has long been a draw for boaters of all ages. From hiking through parks like the Graham Swamp Preserve and going horseback riding on the beach, to getting your weird on at Ripley’s Believe it or Not there is something for everyone. Palm Coast is also a mecca for exceptional oceanfront dining, culture and the arts.
One of the foremost marinas in Palm Coast is Hammock Beach Marina, part of the Hammock Beach Golf Resort & Spa. On route to the marina, you’ll cruise the Matanzas Inlet, and experience the beautiful waterway community of Palm Coast and Northeast Florida. Visitors can jump right into the many resort amenities on-site including multiple swimming pools, a lazy river, beach access, golf course, spa, and a premier fitness and tennis center.
Continue south about 200 miles and you’ll come to Stuart on a section of Florida’s Atlantic Coast called “The Treasure Coast.” The name refers to the Spanish treasure fleet lost off the coast in a 1715 hurricane. But that’s not the only treasure here. Stuart is also “The Sailfish Capital of the World”, making it a hot spot for saltwater anglers. This town is smaller than it’s more famous neighbors, but it’s filled with charm and history. As a matter of fact, the House of Refuge at Gilbert’s Bar is a restored home once used as a haven for shipwrecked sailors in the 1900s. In addition to the rich history awaiting you in Stuart, the entire crew can enjoy wild rides at Sailfish Splash Waterpark and learn about our waterways, and the amazing creatures that live in them, at the Florida Oceanographic Coastal Center.
After a full day of cruising, or exploring Stuart, boaters know relaxation is waiting at Marriott Hutchinson Island Marina in the heart of Stuart. Bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and Intracoastal Waterway, and located less than five miles from the St. Lucie Inlet, this marina is located on a 200 acre, beautifully landscaped resort. Their 80 boat slips can accommodate most boating requirements. While on-site, marina guests have access to water, power, cable TV, and WIFI, as well as all facilities and amenities at the resort, which includes beach and water sports, swimming pool, an 18-hole golf course, 13 tennis courts, a fitness center, a spa, and daily events for kids and adults alike!
Great stop and easy access marina on Florida’s west coast
Majestically sprawled out on the shore of Tampa Bay, off the Gulf Coast of Florida, the famed city of Tampa boasts an active daytime scene, only amplified at night. It welcomes boaters with a mix of beautiful waterways, historic architecture and modern landmarks, pulling them in an enchanting culture infused with Cuban and Spanish flavors, vibrant neighborhoods, innovative restaurants, hip bars and endless shopping. Downtown is alive with urban parks, the historic Ybor City and the impressive Tampa Museum of Arts. There is so much to see in Tampa, chances are, you’ll want to extend your vacation.
Located in historic South Tampa, within five miles of downtown Tampa, the Westshore District and St. Petersburg, is Tampa’s preferred marina, Westshore Yacht Club Marina. This 149-slip marina exudes that energy and beauty that is historic South Tampa. It’s also loaded with amenities including an on-site salon, spa, swimming pool, fitness center, and health club directly on the property. This is one stopover that will absolutely pamper you, your crew, and your boat.